Wednesday, April 30, 2014

A Two Year Old At A Funeral

Today my dad's  side of family gathered to remember my uncle Bart.  It was a difficult day for a lot of people.   I thought seriously about not writing this post.  I thought that writing about my son at the funeral might be a little taboo.  But the more I thought about Jax the more I smiled and many of the people that read this blog were probably at that very same funeral and maybe they need to smile too.  I also thought about my uncle Bart and thought he would appreciate the antics of an antsy two year old boy in a quiet church.
I knew before I walked into that church today that Jax was going to be a handful.   You see, we are Baptists, and Baptists take their antsy kids to the nursery on Sunday mornings so my poor kid has no concept  of what it means to sit quietly in a church.   I walked into the church this morning, the church that my grandma used to drag me to when I was a kid, and I thought  "Oh Lord I'm gonna need the spirit of Lucille Stith to help me control this guy."  Jax immediately went to work touching everything in that old wooden pew.  Luckily for me my stepmom brought lots of candy for bribery and  a marker and paper set. That marker set entertained him for 2.5 seconds.   He quickly spotted my sister Gillian up in the front because she was singing and attempted to begin a rousing game of peekaboo.   Peekaboo from 20 feet away is not exactly quiet.   After Gillian quit playing Peekaboo with him; he discovered that the kneelers were perfect for climbing.   I'm sure in his mind this old Catholic Church was way cooler than our church.   They had things for climbing right in the pew, books to play with right there in the pew,  and it echoed slightly when you jumped up and down.   As soon as the music started and everyone stood he took the hymnal and pressed it against my face.   He also giggled and said "smash, smash! "  Now don't get me wrong,  I enjoyed getting my face smashed with a book but it was distracting to those around us. My stepmom took the opportunity to shove a lifesaver in his mouth.   That kept him quiet...for a minute.  He played around in the pew doing all the things that two year old boys do in church.  His body language started to say "stir crazy" so Grammy came to the rescue again.  She dug through her big ol' purse and found an ink pen!   Jax sat in my lap and decided to use that pen to draw designs on my right hand.  He scribbled all sorts of circles and lines until my hand was a true work of art.  When he decided that he was done being creative he found a place to put the pen.  He stuck his pen and his marker down my shirt.   He was being quiet and sort of good so I just sat there with two writing utensils sticking out of my shirt like they were growing out of my cleavage.  Soon he retrieved his pen and marker and sat down on the floor in front of our pew and went to work disassembling the pen.  Why?  I don't know,  because that's what boys do.    He continued to play  while my cousin spoke some very touching words about his father.  Like most everyone in that church it brought tears to my eyes.  Jax turned to me and noticed I was crying so he sweetly hugged my legs and said "love you momma".  I doubt anyone around us even noticed that tender little moment but it meant the world to me.  For a few moments he seemed to tone down his shenanigans but only for a few moments.  He sat in my lap while my cousin played a song on her violin that was so beautiful it moved everyone.  After that Jax went on about his business messing with stuff in the pew,  hitting his head multiple times, telling the little boy behind us to "go away" and basically just being a two year old.   At some point someone's cell phone rang and Jax put his hand to his ear and answered that pretend phone, "Hello? HELLO?"  I saw a smile crack on my dad's tear stained face and I knew that this busy, distracting,  crazy little curly haired boy was exactly where he needed to be. His mission for the day was to be a sweet distraction from the sadness and a reminder of some of the sweetest things in  life.
In everything in life there is beauty and even in this time of sadness there is something beautiful about a two year being a two year old at a funeral.  I'm sure my grandma, my Maddie and my uncle were looking down on that church today with a smile.
*I hope that this particular post makes you smile.  I ask that you continue to pray for my Uncle's wife and his children  as they have a lot of sorrow filled days ahead.  Pray for my Dad and all my aunts and uncles as they have lost a brother.  Pray for anyone that knew Bart that they may hold only fond memories in their heart.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Emma vs. The Mormons

Yesterday I decided to expand the minds of my growing little Rosebushes.   It was a rainy gross day so we went to the library.  I know you're probably laughing already because what could go wrong with my two kids at the library.   You just never know with my little Rosebushes.
As we entered the library I noticed a group of young gentlemen dressed in crisp white shirts, black pants,  black ties, and their Latter Day Saints  name tags.  Emma dropped her books in the book return and we headed back to the children's section.   I made the mistake of making eye contact and casually smiling at one of the young men.  That's when he decided that he was going to the opportunity to tell me about Jesus. Jax was about to lose his cool in the stroller so I honestly wasn't listening to what he was saying.   I was just about to politely cut him off when my little blond Rosebush piped up.
Emma - "Oh we already know about Jesus. I go to Children's church at Beechland Baptist so I'm good.   Thanks. "
She promptly turned and walked off to the children's section very matter of fact.    She took about five steps and turned to make sure  I was coming behind her and  continued on.
I wasn't sure what exactly I should say to the poor missionary guy who just got put in his place by a well spoken five year old. He honestly looked completely shocked that he'd been out "missionaried" by a preschooler.  I simply smiled, shrugged my shoulders, and followed Emma.  As we walked away Jax smiled his goofy smile, waved, and said "byyyeeeee".
Part of me was mortified that Emma would speak to a stranger so rudely.   The other part of me was astounded by what she said. After replaying the conversation in my head I realized that she wasn't intentionally being rude she was just very certain of something she already knew.  I was maybe just a little bit proud of her and A LOT thankful for the Children's Church at Beechland Baptist!   I guess she absorbs more than I realized.
I will let her handle all door to door Jehovah's witnesses too from now on.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Easter Explained by Emma Catherine

This weekend we celebrated Easter with the little Rosebushes.  Easter is an amazing time of year because it usually bring with it the beginning of spring, warmer weather,  beautiful flowers,  and cute fluffy bunnies.  For Christians Easter means so much more and nothing is better than having a five year old explain to you what Easter is all about like you are a clueless buffoon.  All week last week Emma carefully explained to me many times, that Jesus died on the cross.  This is the best conversation.   She started,  "Mom,  seriously they nailed Jesus to a big cross.   They put nails right through his body and I'm sure it hurt.  Do you know why they did that?"  I decided to play along with her belief that I knew nothing and pretend to be clueless, "No Em, please tell me."  Her eyes got bigger,  her chest puffed out, and this is what she said,  "Well mom,   they did that because God said it was ok.  He sent Jesus here on Christmas,  you know when he was born, so that he could save us all from sins one day.  I'm not sure why people were so mad at Jesus that they wanted to hang him on a cross but they did.  They killed Jesus but don't worry mom cause this next part is pretty cool."  I nodded my head and encouraged her to continue.   Her tone changed a little and she got very matter of fact, "After they killed Jesus his friends took his body and put it into a grave.   It wasn't a grave in the ground like Maddie, it was more like a cave.  They put a big stone in front of the cave like a door so people couldn't go in.  Jesus was in that cave for three days."  The three days part was  very important because she kept nodding her head and  she held up three fingers carefully stressing the word THREE.  She continued,  " MOTHER,  after THREE days do you know what happened?  That stone rolled away and Jesus was ALIVE!  He walked right out of that grave.  That is how he saved us from our sins. You know now that means we can go to heaven now when we die,  like Maddie. " I smiled and nodded so proud that for once she got most of the details of a bible story correct and seemed to understand the meaning.  I don't know if it was the teachers at the school she attends, the volunteers that teach Children's church at our church, or the bible stories we've read at home but she actually got it!  I will give the credit to a combination of the three.   She was a proud little peacock telling the Easter story.
Once we covered the Easter story and Emma was confident that I understood; she had one more little piece of Easter that we needed to discuss.   Emma is an extremely logical kid so once again this year she seemed to question the plausibility of the Easter Bunny.  Here are a few facts about the Easter Bunny that Emma just doesn't think add up.
    1.  We've never seen the actual Easter Bunny.  We've only seen people dressed up in bunny suits that just pretend to be the Easter Bunny for pictures.
    2.  The Easter Bunny is not human.  He doesn't have hands so how does he carry baskets and put things in them.
    3.  Santa has a sleigh and elves but the Easter Bunny has none of that so how does he get around. There is no possible way that a bunny could hop around the world.
    4.  Bunnies are typically small not human sized.
    5.  Bunnies would eat all the candy because that's what animals do.
So after careful discussion of the facts a Emma has decided the Easter Bunny is a thing of fiction.  However, in the interest of her brother she has decided to go along with it so that they can both get baskets of stuff.  You know,  just for Jaxon's sake.

It's so amazing to watch my little girl finally get it.  I can't wait to see how her faith grows.  It's bittersweet to see her starting to give up on a childhood tradition but I love the way her little mind works.  I am so thankful for this time and these memories.  I love watching my little Rosebushes grow.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Time Marches On...Quickly

I'm sure you've figured out by now that raising Rosebushes can be crazy.  Sometimes with all the crazy things that my kids do I forget to stop and enjoy these moments.  This weekend time seemed to slap me in the face and remind me how quickly it passes.
Not long after Jax turned 18 months he started climbing out of his crib.  I feared that he would break an arm, leg or skull so we converted his crib to the toddler bed.  He's done well in the toddler bed and likes the freedom of not being confined to the crib.  Not long ago my mother surprised us by buying both kids nice, new, beautiful twin beds.  We put off putting Jax in his because we had to buy a mattress and frankly I was just not ready for a big boy bed.  This was the weekend we decided to make the big switch.  I watched as my husband took apart the crib and reminisced about all that crib has held.  The crib first held my sweet Maddie.  I used to stand at the side of that crib and watch my angel sleep in it.  She slept in that crib for a long time until I could no  longer lift her out of it.  Next came Emma.  That poor crib didn't know what hit it.  Emma chewed on the rails. She jumped in it like it was a trampoline. We converted it to a toddler bed for her and the fun continued.  I'm sure along the way it was peed in, pooped it, and puked in too!  Shortly before Jax arrived we kicked Emma out of the warm comfy confines of that bed in order to make room for her baby brother.  We put the rail back on the bed and prepared that old crib for another little Rosebush.  Jaxon arrived and he too laid his sweet head in the same bed that held his sisters.  If we thought Emma was rough on the crib we hadn't seem anything yet. That boy made would push the crib around the room.  Now seeing that crib disassembled seemed to mark the end of an era in the Rosebush family,  the baby era.  There will be no more baby Rosebushes for us.  While part of me is happy to see the baby era go, and I know that I definitely DO NOT want any more children; putting that crib away is just a visual reminder of days gone by.  I'm reminded how quickly the time has passed and how big my "babies" are now.
As if the crib wasn't a big enough remaindered Emma added another on Saturday night.  She said "Mom, my gum hurts behind my loose tooth and it feels weird."  She came over to let me see it and what I saw I was not prepared for.  I've told you all before about the loose tooth and how very sad this makes me.  When I looked at Emma's mouth I noticed a very large permanent tooth coming through her gum behind the row of perfect baby teeth.   WHAT?  I.AM.NOT.READY!   I had just gotten used to the loose tooth now the adult tooth is already coming in!  Time please slow down!
The last reminder had nothing to do with my own kids but the child of an old friend.   I found out through the power of Facebook that a friend from years ago was in town this weekend with her family.  I first met Tonya over a decade ago when we worked together at The Fishery.   I was a college student with a special needs kid just working part time and she had moved here from Georgia.  We were instant friends.  Tonya soon found out she was pregnant and I was by her side to help her prepare.  She had beautiful baby girl and I remember holding that little girl just days after she was born.    Time moved on once again, I moved on from The Fishery and Tonya ended up back in Georgia.   We found each other again via Facebook several years back and have kept in touch ever since.  We managed to work out meeting up at McNeely Lake park yesterday.   It was so awesome to reconnect.   She met my kids and I met hers.  When she introduced me to that baby girl I held so many years ago I was blown away.  That baby was now a beautiful young lady who is nearly as tall as I am.   Wow,  when did that happen?   I guess it has been a long time.   Tonya and I didn't waste time we started catching up on all the places that life has taken us.  We laughed about the good old Fishery days and the people we used know, including the former versions of ourselves.  It was really great to see us both all grown up with husbands and kids.  Hopefully it won't be another decade before we see each other again.  
This entire weekend reminded me that life moves on no matter how much we wish it would slow down.   Sometimes we're lucky enough to get these gentle reminders so we remember to stop and take it all in.   I'm so lucky that I have had 3 wonderful children, an amazing husband,  and have shared some great memories with some awesome people along the way.  It hasn't been am easy journey but we'd never grow if we never had struggles.  So thank God for cribs, teeth, and old friends!

Thursday, April 10, 2014

The Park

    If you want to raise healthy, happy Rosebushes outside time is imperative.   It also helps to keep mommy from going crazy.   The weather is slowly getting warmer so visits to the local park will become more frequent.     We visited the park today and maybe I was in a bad mood but there were some things that really got under my skin.
1.  Adults that spend more time on their phone than watching their kids.   If you bring a child to the park you are responsible for what that child does.   If your kid is "that kid" that keeps pushing my kid or saying the most rude and inappropriate things I expect you to deal with it.   While I would never let a child get hurt it is not my job to keep your kid from jumping off the playground equipment.   WATCH YOUR KID!  You might be surprised what fun you'd have if you put down the phone and played with your kid.  
2.  Adults that hang out at the playground and have no children.  Let's face it if you hang out near a playground and you don't have kids that makes you creepy.  I will go out of my way to keep my kids far away from the creepy people. 
3.  People who smoke on the playground.   Seriously,  I have no problem if you smoke but don't do it where my kids play.  I work very hard to keep my children's lungs healthy and you should do the same for your kids.  You have 2 options.  One, go smoke away from the kids, which could put you in danger of violating pet peeve #1.  Two,  put the cigs away for a bit while you're at the park.  How long are you going to be playing anyway?   One hour maybe two?   If you can't go an hour without a smoke then good luck being gainfully employed or living to see you're grandkids grow up.  One other thing on this subject,  please DO NOT throw your cigarette butts on the ground where my kids play.  It's gross!
4.  People who don't clean up after their dogs.   If you bring your dog to the park and he takes a godzilla sized poop three steps from the playground I expect you to pick up that crap.  Would you want your kid stepping in dog poop?  No!  PICK UP THE POO! Today I suggested that to a man who was letting his dog poop everywhere and he looked at me like I was insane and replied "What would you like me to do with it? If he's gotta go he's gotta go."  My response was "a responsible dog owner would know that dogs poop so would be prepared with bags to pick it up."   He gave me blank stare and walked off mumbling.   I later heard him call his kid a "stupid lazy ass" so I'm thinking he's probably not the brightest guy and didn't learn anything from our little convo. 
5.  People who come to the park and smell like marijuana.   Do I really need to explain why this bothers me?  Two reasons.  One, if you're high you can't watch your kid.   Two,  if you still smell like weed you've likely smoked it in the presence of your kids and that is down right criminal.   Enough said.  
6.  People who drive like maniacs in the parking lot.  It's a park where kids play why to you need to drive 60 in the parking lot.  What if a little kid gets away from his mom and runs into the parking lot and you mow him down because your speeding?  It only takes two seconds for an accident to happen.  Slow down and be mindful of the little ones.  
    I'm not a perfect parent, far from it.  My kids can sometimes be "that kid"  but I try very hard to address that when I see it.  All I'm asking is that people work together to keep our parks nice, our kids safe, and hopefully we can all raise happy, healthy little humans.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Road Trip with the Rosebushes

    Last Wednesday I received the following text, "Hey come visit us.  This is not a request it's a demand...Chop chop on the packing or we'll think you don't love us."  That one text got us thinking.   Fred had planned some time off and it was spring break so why not go on a spur of the moment 9 hour road trip.   It could be fun, right?
     I hate road trips,  especially road trips with children but we hadn't seen Fred's brother and his family in 6 months or so.  I made a few arrangements for the dog, covered  our soccer coaching obligations and started packing.  I packed everything for a family of four in a matter of a few hours.  That in itself deserves some sort of medal.  I also packed a bag full of all sorts or entertainment things for the kids.  When Fred got home from work we headed out.
   It was late and the kids were tired so they crashed pretty quickly!  Yay! Now the only thing I had to contend with on the first part of this journey was Fred,  my sometimes oversized adult child.  Fred volunteered to drive the first leg and told me to get a quick nap.  The problem is that Fred drives like a maniac.   He sets the cruise and then his goal is to not hit the brakes, no matter what the road or weather conditions are.  Every time you drift off to sleep you are suddenly startled awake by sudden movement of  a lane change or crazy curve.  The lines in the road and speed limits are merely suggestions and mean nothing to Fred.   It's terrifying and I'm scared to die in my sleep so I stay awake.  I also sat shivering in my seat because apparently Fred made up some ridiculous rule that the driver gets to control everything in the car from the temperature to the radio. The kids were cozy with blankets but I had to suffer because "the driver must be kept comfortable and happy at all times."  This rule also only applies when Fred is the driver because when it was my turn to drive I cranked up some heat but he kept messing with the controls and complaining like a school girl.   There was no use in reminding him of the rule because there are all sorts of scenarios that negate the rule. They mostly all boil down to him being a terrible terrible co-pilot.  He cannot help the kids with anything so I have to drive and deal with the kids.
     The kids were awake off and on throughout the night when we made potty and gas stops.  The late hour and confined quarters made for some super fun times.  Here are some highlights.
     -Emma announced "either I smell a skunk or I farted.  I'm not sure which." You truly have to hate it when that happens.
     -The kids had several fights over the ipad.  They each had one but for whatever reason wanted the other one.  That resulted in several screaming episodes.
     -There were several family sing-a-longs that I'm terribly sad no one was around to hear.
     -I refused to "unbuckle" Jax when he demanded it and he repeatedly shouted that I was rude.  He also told me to "go away" and "get out".
     Finally we made it in about nine hours.  I was amazed we made it.  We were all in one piece and everyone seemed happy.  Woohoo!

We had a great time hanging out with the other Rosebush family but all good things must come to and end.  We had to head home.  For whatever reason we decided to head out in the middle of the afternoon.   Dumb, dumb,  dumb idea.  Driving through some very scenic mountains during the day was beautiful but more daylight hours means more grumpy kid time awake.
    We stopped almost every hour and a half for all kinds of crazy reasons.  Every time we put Jax back in the car it got a little more difficult and he would scream a little longer.  Emma whined about everything from Jax looking at her to the volume of his ipad.  
    The best part of the return trip was when Emma announced she had to pee about four seconds after we passed an exit.  She started screaming that it was an emergency and she couldn't hold it.  Lucky for us there wasn't an exit for several miles so she decided to pee in her carseat!  Yay!  The total time from peepee announcement to peepee release was less than five minutes. When we finally reached an exit I was so angry I could spit nails.  We decided to get gas while we were stopped so Fred started pumping the gas and I went to get Emma some clothes out of the suitcase.  When I went to get Emma out of the car so she could go in and change I opened the door to find her completely naked.  I guess she couldn't wait to change.  I'm fairly certain she only mooned three or four people.   After she was changed we had to go inside and buy a $6 gas station blanket and get several plastic bags to cover her carseat with.   The carseat was covered and Emma was buckled in when Jax announced that he had also peed!  Seriously I was tired of dealing with urine!  I changed Jax quickly,  while Fred watched, and finally we were ready to get on the road again.
   The rest of our return trip was  just as crazy and the people at IHOP in Morgantown, WV will probably never be the same thanks to the antics of the mini Rosebushes.  You're welcome Morgantown!  
   After what seemed like 72 hours in the car, 400 stops, 96 meltdowns, and two wet carseats we finally made it home sweet home.  
I think it's safe to say that the Rosebush clan should only  travel by airplane for my sanity,  the health of my marriage, and the sanity of those we encounter along the way.